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Thread: House to shed, and beyond ...

  1. #1
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Default House to shed, and beyond ...

    Before we were aware of HA, we ran power from house (garage) to shed, fifteen metres or so across the yard, and from there into the garden, for lights & pumps, lawnmower & trimmers, and the odd bit of DIY. And it would be nice to have Idratek manage & control these, too ...

    But running another conduit for the Cat-5 would involve way too much upheaval (thresholds, parking-areas, soakaways, etc), so ... what to do ?

    One thought is to use some Homeplugs - eg: Fla85twin - HomePlug TURBO (2 Plugs) 85Mpbs, or Fla200 - HomePlug AV Push 200Mbps, such as are available here :

    http://www.homeplugs.co.uk/acatalog/...HomePlugs.html

    But would they work ? In other words, first plug one into a power-socket in the garage and the other into a power socket in the shed, then plug a length of Cat-5 into each, then connect the other ends to the IdraNet in the house & to some (eg) SRHs and/or QRHs in the shed ... and, job's done, transparent, and no need to worry about using the lawnmower, etc. Or ... ??

    Any thoughts or experience ... please ?

    Chris
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 7th January 2010 at 10:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Hi Chris,

    This would not work in the way you hope.

    Homeplug devices transmit Ethernet over mains cabling. Idranet signalling is not Ethernet and hence will not be carried by HomePlug or any other "extension over Cat5" technology.

    In order to use the HomePlug devices you would need to have a second Cortex computer in the shed connected to the house Cortex computer via Ethernet and then use the Cortex bridging functions to share the Idranet devices connected in the shed to the main Cortex computer.

    I do not know whether the rumoured Idranet Ethernet interface device will allow multiple network interfaces to be supported from one Cortex computer. If so then this would avoid the need for a second Cortex computer - but you would have to wait for the availability of the device.

    Have you considered armoured Cat-5 that might run run "surface" - assuming you can find a route that is not too long?
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  3. #3
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Hi Gumby -

    'feared as much but, not having found anything (yet) that actually spelled-out that the HomePlugs were Ethernet specific, there seemed to be hope !

    Chris

  4. #4
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    "HomePlug" is the name owned by an industry consortium defining a standard for Ethernet over mains cabling rather than a manufacturer's brandname.

    A bit like "WiFi" means wireless Ethernet.

    Edit:
    Well, really it's a standard which includes support for bridging Ethernet over mains cabling. Bridging of other standards may be added later.
    Last edited by Gumby; 7th January 2010 at 10:51 AM.
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  5. #5
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    ah - missed the headline !

    another possibility seems to be Rako - need to check it out, but ISTR reading that Idratek / IdraNet has been linked with Rako, somewhere, sometime, 'though I can't recall where or when that was ...

    Chris

  6. #6
    Moderator Kevin's Avatar
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    Bear in mind that Rako is one way RF so it has the usual caveats for RF remote operation reliability and you can't detect local load changes or recover the status from a device.

    You could us WiFi or HomePlug - (although I must discourage the latter as it is so punitive to our radio spectrum and generally anti social). This will give you Ethernet IP in the shed.

    Then you could use any remote control over IP type device which will then give you confirmed end to end operation and status. If you use a xAP enabled module like say the Barix Barionet or Phaedrus Netiom then you will be able to directly integrate the relays or dimmers into Cortex. Additionally you could add temperature / daylight / PIR or other sensors later should you wish.

    K

  7. #7
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    just to close the loop on the Rako possibility, which it seems might work, using their RAVFR volt-free switch to RF interface :

    http://www.rakocontrols.com/download...tionmanual.pdf

    which has been, I think, supported by Cortex since V20 (via the digital outs of an ODO) ...

    plus their RDS800C RF relay units :

    http://www.rakocontrols.com/download...sheetlores.pdf

    for switching simple things like lights etc, or their RACUB RF relay units if motors are involved :

    http://www.rakocontrols.com/download...sheetlores.pdf

    with Rako-side programming using one of their seven-button wall-plates, or their 7-button remote, for introducing their units to each other, etc ...

    this would be with one-way comm's / no-feedback operation of the Rako units ...

    for a more sophisticated set-up on the Rako side, having their RASOFT PC software might help ... and this can be bought as a package with their RAV232+ bi-directional RS232 unit :

    http://www.rakocontrols.com/download...sheetlores.pdf

    which itself might give the basis for a set-up with feedback (given some additional communication via the Idratek API interface & some appropriate macro work) ...

    BTW - a reasonable overview of Rako system seems to be given here :

    http://www.rakocontrols.com/download...tion_sheet.pdf

    hmmm - the usual health warnings on all this, not tried it yet, but that's how it looks on the basis of a bit research between things today!

    Chris
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 7th January 2010 at 07:09 PM.

  8. #8
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    ah, just seen Kevin's post !

    'did look into HomePlug, but couldn't see how to use it for a seamless IdraNet extension - fine for Ethernet (readily available) and maybe RS232 too (said to exist), but couldn't find more ! Plus the radio-hams don't like its noisy ways ...

    but the remote control over IP type device sounds just the ticket - I'll do some Googling when there's a minute !

    Chris

  9. #9
    Automated Home Sr Member MrFluffy's Avatar
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    Is idratek a true serial protocol?
    You can get serial->ethernet->serial devices.
    Ive got a 24 port terminal server in my rack that I connect to the consoles of everything @ 96008N1 via the network. And lots of industrial kit uses serial over ip to do range extenders...
    Heres perle's device servers page, the price will frighten you but the kit can often be picked up secondhand. My terminal server is a specialtix (which perle rebadged the cs9000 and sell to this day for a few thousand quid) and cost me 99p on ebay one lucky day.
    http://www.perle.com/products/Device-Server.shtml

    Another solution, they can peer in a adhoc network right out the box...
    http://www.gridconnect.com/wi232.html

    Shop around a lot for the best price...

    Someone who knows idra protocol and if its possible to transmit it as vanilla rs232 will have to chip in and say if its possible at this point or not, Im still kroning in my patch panels, left all my wiring dark and wont be putting in any HA until the nice electricity board has stamped off my house as regulation compliant (pain in the rear).


    Having had the pleasure of home automation over wireless devices Id just bite the bullet and run a conduit in with 8 cat6 cables and some fibre in it. Cant beat copper...

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